You know it’s a good song when you are not skipping through it but you can’t put your finger on it either. It’s called having that X factor. And J auRa’s Mr. 28 is a premium rap song that has plenty of appeal and is carried by its fiery enthusiasm for succeeding financially and for obliterating all non-supporters. Mr. 28, although produced in 2020, reflects an older era of quality hip hop when speaking clearly was the industry standard, and having organic instruments in your beat was mandatory.
With one glance at the artwork, you notice its remarkable power of stimulating old school vibes, which does justice to the overall song. After opening straight with the hook, “They call me Mr. 28/ ( Because I’m in the zone)”, J auRa goes to ponder on his past circumstances: “On a mission in this rap game lookin’ out for the long bucks/ I used to be on the hot block, choppin’ rocks like cold cuts/ But then I woke up, the last time them boys in blue rolled up”, the flow being steady and masking plenty of one-breath rhymes under the monotone cadence. It’s one of those instances where you think it’s gonna be easy nailing the bars but then you start rapping along and you stumble after the first line. Think of how Eminem’s flow CAN NOT be anticipated. That’s what we got in Mr. 28 as well.
J auRa then goes to detail the dynamic of his relationship with his naysayers: “Got served a deuce now I’m back in these streets/ Whippin’ these mixtapes up, servin’ hard rhymes and jackin’ these beats/ And from the looks of things, I got these haters all in agony, peep/ How they try to disregard my swag, but I know I’m packin’ that heat”, with a brilliant ability to intercalate rhymes with one another and expanding on the subject without trailing off. Take note of his mature voice that’s flexible in expressing emotions while still sounding great! You can hear those moments clearly in the higher-pitched emphases like: “I know I’m packing that heat”, “You chumps still owe in taxes”, “How the hell Imma get paid”, “’cause you know that I do this”.
When talking about the Mr. 28 production, it has its complex particularities as it equally bestows old-school mixing and mastering techniques: multiple-voiced hook, high EQ use, double-layered line endings, organic drums, piano, trumpets, very light ad-libs, clean leading voice, short-cut female vocal samples in the background throughout the entire song. If we had to name one artist who is most similar in production to Mr. 28, think Jay Z in the mid-2000s.
With a high ring of conviction in his voice, J auRa is the type of artist that is enjoyed for a long time and rediscovered through every repeat of the same song. With golden punchlines (“get on a dinner plate, so you can get ate”, “Bringin’ it to you constantly, not once a year like Santa Claus”, “The game done got junky, with the industry focusing on trash/ So it’s like community service when I’m chunkin’ em’ in the bag”), slick rhymes, and high-end production, Mr. 28 will be your new favorite old-school rap song.
Review by Mariana Berdianu
Blue Rhymez Entertainment ©2020